Mō Tātou: The Ngāi Tahu Whānui exhibition 

Exhibition now closed 8 Jul 2006 – 9 Aug 2009
Free entry

Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri, ā muri ake nei. For us and our children after us.

We, Ngāi Tahu Whānui, the people of the South Island, invite you to celebrate our past and present, learn about our values, and share our vision for the future in this, the fifth iwi exhibition at Te Papa.

Ngāi Tahu means ‘people of Tahu’ after our founder, Tahu Potiki. Around ten generations ago, his descendents migrated from the North Island of New Zealand to the South Island. Through intermarriage and conquest, these original migrants merged with the resident Waitaha and Kāti Māmoe tribes, to form Ngāi Tahu Whānui as it is today.

Embedded in the land, Ngāi Tahu Whānui have survived and progressed from near-decimation to tribal autonomy and self-reliance. Four cultural values, drawn from the tribal saying ‘Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei. For us and our children after us’, are the organising principles for this exhibition and reflect our contemporary understanding of our past and our future. They are:

• Toitū te iwi – Culture
• Toitū te rangatiratanga – Tenacity
• Toitū te aō tūroa – Sustainability
• Toitū te pae tawhiti – Innovation

From our creation story to our most important taonga (treasures), to our representation on the world art stage, Mō Tātou celebrates the distinct and dynamic culture of the South Island's Ngāi Tahu people.